Times Colonist

APPLE CHICKEN from Laura Calder’s Dinner Chez Moi

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Laura Calder says this beautiful Norman dish is incredibly simple to make, but luxurious tasting and elegant, the kind of thing that reminds you why French food really never goes out of style.

Makes: 4 servings

For the chicken:

4 slices bacon, cut into lardoons (widthwise strips) 1 tablespoon butter 4 small organic bone-in chicken breasts, with skin salt and pepper 1/4 cup Calvados or other apple brandy 1 cup hard cider 1/2 cup crème fraîche (see Note) a small handful of finely chopped fresh parsley

For the apples:

2 Granny Smith apples 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon sugar

Fry the bacon in a sauté pan until cooked but not crisp; remove and set aside. Add the butter for the chicken to the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown the skin side, about 4 minutes. Pour off all but 1 to 2 tablespoon­s of fat. Deglaze the pan with the Calvados and boil to reduce. Put the bacon back in, pour over the cider, cover the pan, and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes, uncovering the pan for the last 5 minutes to reduce the liquid to about 1/2 cup.

While the chicken cooks, prepare the apples. Peel, core, and slice them into 1/4-inch rings. Melt the butter for the apples in a frying pan over mediumhigh heat and fry the apples on both sides until golden and tender, a matter of minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking, turning the apples once, for a minute or two until the sugar has melted and slightly caramelize­d.

Stir the crème fraîche into the chicken sauce and heat through. Place the chicken breasts in a warm serving dish. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Pour it over the chicken and arrange the apple pieces on top. Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

Note: If can’t find crème fraîche, use half cream and half sour cream.

This sweet recipe comes from Food Network host Laura Calder’s book, Dinner Chez Moi.

Walnut Squares With White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Makes: About 16 squares

For the base: 1 cup flour 2 tablespoon­s brown sugar 1/2 cup butter, softened For the filling: 1 cup walnuts, chopped 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup unsweetene­d coconut 2 Tbsp flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the icing:

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup butter, at room temperatur­e 6 ounces white chocolate, melted until completely smooth 1/4 cup icing sugar 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square cake pan. Work together the ingredient­s for the base, either in a food processor or using your fingers, to make fine crumbs. Press into the cake pan and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the filling ingredient­s. When the base comes out of the oven, spread this over top, return to the oven, and bake until set, about 25 minutes.

Cool completely on a rack.

For the icing, beat the cream cheese, butter and melted chocolate until smooth. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, and lastly the lemon juice. Chill until spreadable, about 10 minutes. Spread the icing over the cooled walnut filling and cut into diamonds.

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 ??  ?? These walnut squares feature chocolate and cream cheese in the icing.
These walnut squares feature chocolate and cream cheese in the icing.
 ??  ?? Food writer Laura Calder’s new book features menus for dinner parties.
Food writer Laura Calder’s new book features menus for dinner parties.

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